Rabbitohs v Sea Eagles: Kick-off delayed; Keppie to start

Rabbitohs v Sea Eagles: Kick-off delayed; Keppie to start

Manly has been delayed in traffic travelling from the Sunshine Coast to Brisbane for its preliminary final with South Sydney, with kick-off push back by 15 minutes.

The NRL confirmed the match at Lang Park would now start at 8:05pm AEST.

Once the match starts, you can check out all the live scores and stats below.

With a grand final berth on the line, the Rabbitohs are looking to bid farewell to Wayne Bennett and Adam Reynolds on a high note while Manly continue to ride the wave of one of the great individual seasons from Tom Trbojevic.

The Rabbitohs turned the finals series on its head with a shock win over Penrith in the opening week of the finals, ending the chances of another Panthers-Storm premiership decider.

Instead, South Sydney or Manly will advance from this Friday’s clash at Suncorp Stadium following two sensational attacking performances from these clubs.

Earlier this season the Rabbitohs became the first team in premiership history to score 30 points in eight consecutive matches.

Even without suspended fullback Latrell Mitchell they managed to get the better of Penrith, the league’s best defensive team, in the qualifying finals.

Meanwhile, Manly became the first team to have three players score at least 20 tries this season in Trbojevic, Jason Saab and Reuben Garrick.

The Sea Eagles were missing their talismanic fullback in the only previous meeting between these sides in 2021, with Souths prevailing 26-12 in round two.

But Manly are a different side since then, making this clash a particularly intriguing prospect with a huge prize up for grabs.


The rundown

Team news

Rabbitohs: Wayne Bennett’s team will start 1-17 with Patrick Mago the 18th man.

There are no injury concerns for the Bunnies with coach Wayne Bennett sticking with the same team that upset Penrith in week one of the finals.

“The bodies are a bit fresher after not having to play [last week] and mentally we could switch off and just prepare for this week,” captain Adam Reynolds said.

The Rabbitohs have won five of their past six games against the Sea Eagles.

Sea Eagles: In a positional change announced an hour before kick-off, Sean Keppie moves into the starting side at prop with Martin Taupau dropping back to the bench.

Tevita Funa will be Manly’s 18th man.

Parker and Curtis Sironen dropped out of the extended squad 24 hours before kick-off.

Sea Eagles fullback Tom Trbojevic requires one try to break Phil Blake’s club try-scoring record.

Key match-up

This could be the last hurrah as a Rabbitoh for Adam Reynolds, who is bound for the Broncos next season, and he’s up against the incumbent Kangaroos No.7 Daly Cherry-Evans.

Both halfbacks have been instrumental in their team’s success this year, Reynolds with his renowned long kicking game and sharpshooting ability while DCE’s looping passes to his wide men have made Manly a try-scoring threat from anywhere on the field.

Stat attack

Manly goal-kicker Reuben Garrick is on the hunt for Hazem El Masri’s record for the most points by an individual in a season, with 322.

The Bulldogs great scored 342 in the 2004 season with 16 tries and 139 goals, while Garrick has 21 tries and 112 goals for the Sea Eagles in 2021.

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